Youth-Inspired Film Sparks New Conversations About Mental Illness

IndieFlix documentary and panel discussion to spur dialogue about the state of youth mental health in Houston.

On Thursday, April 12th, the Center for School Behavioral Health at Mental Health America of Greater Houston in collaboration with Advocates of Healthy Minds, The Council on Recovery, Fusion Academy and the Peace of Mind Foundation, will hold a special screening of the new IndieFlix Original documentary, “Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety,” at The Council on Recovery (303 Jackson Hill Street, 77007) as an opportunity to create a dialogue between local families, community leaders and experts about the state of youth mental health in our area.

The event, scheduled from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, will feature a viewing of the 56-minute film that tells the stories of kids and teens who discuss their anxiety and its impacts on their lives and relationships, and how they have found solutions and hope. The film also provides discussions with mental health experts about the causes of anxiety and its sociological effects, along with the help, resources and tools available to address the condition.

Following the film, a panel discussion with behavioral health experts, Elizabeth McIngvale, Ph.D, founder of the Peace of Mind Foundation and Sam Scharff, LPC, LCDC with The Council on Recovery and Fusion Academy student, Parker Lewish will highlight the evening.

“Anxiety disorders are real and treatable,” said Janet Pozmantier, M.S., LPC, LMFT, RPT, director of the Center for School Behavioral Health at Mental Health America of Greater Houston. “Getting young people preventative care, treatment and tools to cope is crucial to helping them to not only feel better, but to have a greater chance of having success in life. It’s time to start the conversation in our homes, our schools and our communities.”

One in every five youth meet the criteria for having a lifetime mental disorder that can cause severe impairment or distress. Studies also show that substance use or dependence is the most commonly diagnosed health concerns for young people, followed by anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health challenge in the U.S., impacting 54 percent of females and 46 percent of males, with age seven being the median age of onset, according to the World Health Organization. While anxiety disorders are highly treatable, only one-third of those suffering receive treatment. Everyone involved in the development of “Angst” has a personal experience with anxiety – from the producers to the interviewees.

Free and low-cost tickets are available here.  The screening is appropriate for students, families, advocates and community members interested in learning about preventing and addressing mental health concerns including anxiety, depression and suicide. “Angst” screens in schools and communities across the world and is expected to reach more than three million people around the world, through 25,000 community and school screenings.